Over $47M paid out to offset dialysis patients’ treatment

Seventy-Nine (79) hemodialysis patients have received cheques valued $600,000, to help subsidise their treatment expense, as the PPP/C Administration rolls out its dialysis treatment initiative.

The first payout exercise of more than $47 million, was held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), on Friday.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony hands over the cheque to one of the dialysis patients at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC)

Dialysis patient, Sean Alphonso said the kind gesture will ease the burden of many persons, explaining that sometimes it is challenging to find the finance for treatment.

“It’s going to be a great help because it is not easy and I think they did something good. Not everybody could afford to pay for a dialysis and this is really good. I am happy about it,” Alphonso told DPI.

Sean Alphonso, dialysis patient

Another patient, Tryck Younge said the support came as a life saver, since he is not in good health to work. 

“It was very, very rough without the assistance because when I finish paying for the dialysis, I don’t have no money to spend to buy groceries and so for the home.”

Tryck Younge, dialysis patient

Arena Singh received the grant for her husband who was at the time undergoing dialysis treatment.

“I am basically very happy for what they did for people in this country, because many people need help right now. On behalf of myself and family, we would like to thank the government very much, because what they have done for the poor people, people who are in need, I accept and I ask God to bless them,” Singh expressed.

For Mortimer Livan, “the money is needed because the cost of taking dialysis and all other treatment associated with it is expensive. So, I welcome the initiative by the government.”

The administration has allocated $180 million in Budget 2022 to support 300 persons in need of the treatment.

Mortimer Livan, dialysis patient

Addressing the patients, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, M.P, said the approach by government is not a one-off move.

“It became a new measure in the new budget. This means that every year you will be getting $600,000 to assist you with paying for your dialysis session.”

The minister said over the last 18 years, Guyana has seen remarkable improvement in providing dialysis care. He noted that space was even provided for the Doobay Medical Centre to offer dialysis at the New Amsterdam Hospital.

“We have also provided space to 5G to be able to offer dialysis in Linden and more recently we have been in talk with 5G to expand dialysis to Essequibo, so later this year, we are hoping that we can have dialysis being available in Essequibo,” the minister noted.

A section of the gathering at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), on Friday

While government advances the infrastructure, Dr. Anthony emphasised, that quality service must be maintained and mirror international standard.

Additionally, the minister said government is also putting mechanisms in place to offer free blood tests. He said too, that government will procure erythropoietin, a special medication for patients with kidney issues free of cost.

In partnership with the Pan American Organisation, a preliminary assessment was recently conducted by a Nephrologist from Argentina, who examined all dialysis facilities here. Another consultant is expected to visit next week.

“The reason why we are doing that because we want to make sure that when patients go to any one of this dialysis sectors that you can go there with the confidence that they are meeting certain international standards,” the health minister pointed out.

Meanwhile, Nephrologist, Dr. Haimchand Barran believes that the grants are beneficial, since almost 50 percent of admissions at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) are due to financial constraints. 

He stressed the importance of taking regular checkups, emphasising that regular and quality dialysis ensures optimal health.

The medical practitioner advised patients to ensure they take their dialysis three times weekly, while urging dialysis health care staff to focus on educating their patients.

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